Floyd & Wanda Baker
Your children are your children, forever. Floyd and Wanda Baker know that well. Though their five children have grown up and moved away, the Bakers knew they would always be ready to step in if their children needed them.
That moment came during the fall of 2015. A series of strokes had left their daughter Linda paralyzed on her right side and bedridden. Her son managed her care at home on his own for as long as he could, but eventually Linda’s serious health needs took their toll. Linda was hospitalized several times as her health deteriorated through back surgery and treatment for a dangerous blood clot.
As Linda transitioned from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility for physical and occupational therapy, she needed someone on her side fighting for her care and health coverage so she could focus on her recovery. Floyd and Wanda took over as their daughter’s advocates, making regular four-hour round trips to her rehab facility in Memphis from their home in West Tennessee.
While at the nursing facility, it became apparent that Linda’s physical condition had seriously declined and she would need long-term care. Unfortunately, Linda’s Medicare only covered short-term nursing. The facility cost thousands of dollars per month, making it too expensive to pay out of pocket. To stay and get the care she needed, Linda needed to a medical evaluation for TennCare’s long-term care program CHOICES. Yet, when the Bakers asked the nursing facility for help applying for CHOICES, the facility refused.
Looking for guidance, the Bakers called the Tennessee Justice Center for help. One of TJC’s attorneys and Warfield Fellow Megan expedited the evaluation they needed and Linda was approved for the CHOICES program within days! Wanda says, “I don’t know how we would have climbed that hill without you. And it was a steep one. Now we claim Megan as part of the family.”
Once they’d secured Linda’s health coverage, Floyd and Wanda were anxious to bring their daughter closer to home. After the Bakers found a spot at wonderful facility near their farm in West Tennessee, TJC smoothed Linda’s transition to ensure she received seamless continuity of care. Today, Linda is settled into her new home where her family can easily visit and keep up with her care.
For their unwavering dedication to their daughter, TJC honors Floyd and Wanda Baker as two of our 2016 Parents of the Year.